Airbnb planning a tours and city experiences service

Airbnb is planning to extend its offering beyond spare room, flat or house rentals to offer city tours and experiences.

In an interview with The Sunday Telegraph, CEO Brian Chesky said he wants Airbnb to be seen as a hospitality brand, rather than simply a site for cheap rooms.

“We think there’s huge opportunities for other services on top of accommodation. If I’m coming to London, what do I do in London? We think we have an opportunity to enhance your trip and enhance your experience,” he said.

It is expected that the new service would allow locals to sell tours and other experiences, although the plans are still under development.

Airbnb has grown massively since it was founded in 2008. In London alone, there are now 13,000 Airbnb listings, making it an ever growing competitor to the hotel and B&B industry in the capital.

However, the British Hospitality Association has voiced its concerns over Airbnb.

“We are very concerned that large numbers of private homes are being let on a semi or even permanent basis to tourists because it's unlikely that any of these properties have ever had any fire risk or health and safety checks," said Jackie Grech, legal and policy director at the BHA

Chesky agreed that there needs to be new laws to regulate individuals in the ‘sharing economy’.

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